Hero cruise 72-1 reports

Palmer Station from a Southwind helicopter
A 1972-73 photo of Palmer Station from a helicopter from Southwind which is anchored
in Arthur Harbor (U.S. Navy photo from the March/April 1972 Antarctic Journal).

R/V Hero arrived at Palmer Station via Deception Island (accompanied by the icebreaker USCGC Staten Island) on December 1, and remained near Palmer to support local science programs. On December 4, the 38-meter vessel grounded in Arthur Harbor while approaching the Palmer Station dock but floated free after 20 minutes without assistance. On December 16 the ship cruised northward along the Peninsula coast, touching at Deception, Livingston, King George, and Nelson Islands. During this period, over-the-side bottom sampling was conducted. After paying courtesy calls at the Chilean station Presidente Frei and the Soviet station Bellingausen, Hero returned to Palmer on December 28. The next 9 days were spent in support of programs near the station.

On January 6, Hero again headed for Deception Island, this time to rendezvous with USCGC Southwind. The icebreaker had arrived at Deception from Punta Arenas on January 10 and disembarked Mr. Lloyd R. Haugh (this season's NSF representative for the Antarctic Peninsula), Mr. Olav Orheim and four colleagues (Ohio State University), and Dr. Jere H. Lipps (University of California, Davis). Mr. Orheim's group remained on Deception Island for a month-long glaciological investigation. Mr. Haugh and Dr. Lipps transferred to Hero. Using Southwind's two HH-52A helicopters, U.S. Navy photographers working aboard the icebreaker made an aerial photographic survey of Deception Island for the Orheim team. The helicopters also cached field equipment at specified points on the island for use by both the U.S. and the Argentine glaciological teams. Shortly after the departure of Southwind from Deception Island, 45-knot winds forced Hero to lie to inside the caldera for 36 hours before transporting the Orheim team to nearby Livingston Island on January 14 for a 2-day encampment. After returning the Orheim team to Deception Island on January 17, Hero returned to Palmer Station via the Melchior Islands, conducting bottom sampling on the way. Local operations resumed at Palmer and continued until January 28, when Hero sailed for Deception Island a third time, this time en route to Punta Arenas, carrying scientists who had finished their work for the season. At month's end, Hero was preparing for a February 3 departure for Punta Arenas. A cruise report from the above period: a research report by B. L. Burch--studying benthic organisms.

After a January 17 to 20 run to Deception Island to transfer researchers to Livingston Island, Hero kept busy near Palmer until January 27, when she again sailed to Deception Island to embark homeward-bound researchers and scientific samples.Hero then continued on to Ushuaia, Argentina, her new South American port, arriving there on February 1...interestingly this did not conclude the official Cruise 72-1.

R/V Hero returned to Palmer Station on February 22 after also making a midseason trip to Punta Arenas, where she disembarked NSF representative Lloyd R. Haugh and three scientific teams and embarked Dr. John H. Dearborn and five colleagues from the University of Maine. The Dearborn group, investigating the ecology of echinoderms (starfishes, sea urchins) and other organisms, collected extensively from Hero near Palmer and as far south as the southern tip of Adelaide Island. Feeding, reproduction, brood protection, and respiration were investigated. In late March, trawls and nettings yielded invertebrates and fishes, including 19 large specimens of the ice fish Chaenocephalus aceratus, some of which would go to the Smithsonian Oceanographic Sorting Center. A total of 106 stations were taken, with depths ranging to 670 meters. Here is a research report by John H. Dearborn. The group departed Palmer on March 31 aboard Hero, which reached Punta Arenas on April 7, ending the cruise.